As inevitable as the coming of the tides, the rising sun, or Gary Lineker’s goatee being terrible, TalkTalk has hit rock bottom of the broadband rankings once more.
For the fifth Which broadband survey in a row, TalkTalk is bringing up the rear. Based on customer opinions who cited issues with slow speeds, frequent connection drop outs and poor customer service, you have to start to wonder where TalkTalk is actually getting its customers from; how many people can the provider wrong before the UK just gives up on them.
Interestingly enough, TalkTalk is keeping good company at the arse end of the table, with BT and Sky completing the bottom three with customer satisfaction scores of 46% and 45% respectively. The ‘big’ boys in the UK broadband scene did not deliver, which perhaps we should not be surprised with.
“Far too many people are still getting a poor deal from their broadband provider,” said Which, MD of Home Products and Services, Alex Neill. “Big players need to improve their service across the board or expect their customers to take their business elsewhere.”
What this list shows is that customer satisfaction scores are not much to do with the network performance, aside Virgin Media they’ll pretty much be using the same infrastructure, but more about online experience, perhaps the billing system they use, and also customer service. To illustrate this point, you have to look at John Lewis Broadband.
John Lewis Broadband scored a satisfactory 66%. Now the John Lewis Broadband is actually supplied by Plusnet, which scored 63%, which is a sub-brand of BT, which scored 46%. All three services are likely to be using the same infrastructure, with the only difference being the brand and engagement with the customer. John Lewis Broadband is probably harbouring die hard John Lewis fans as customers, but it does show the power of good customer services none-the-less.
Interesting enough, Zen Internet tops the list, but who is Zen Internet I hear you say. Zen Internet is an independent provider, headquartered in Rochdale, with about 400 employees. It was founded in 1995 by Managing Director Richard Tang after a drink in the pub (name of the pub unknown), who was also named Customer Service Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young in 2010. Sounds like a sound bloke.
Second and third spots were also occupied by interesting names, Utility Warehouse and SSE. In both cases, customers cited value for money as the reason for the success.
Perhaps we should stop being surprised the big boys, with sticky fingered and demanding investors, hit the bottom of customer service rankings; the fat has to be trimmed from somewhere. Your correspondent will be looking for a new broadband deal over the next couple of weeks, and there are certainly a few new names to look into now.